Like the day before, practice started with special teams. The coaches continued their search for a punter with a new candidate, safety Clay Hardt. Hardt was a punter in high school and made an attempt to show his stuff in spring practice.
"I'm surprised Clay Hardt did as well as he did," said Coach John Mackovic.
Hardt was inconsistent but did get off a couple of good kicks. Ramey Peru and Gens Goodman both had punts of over 50-yards.
"We are looking for the best combination of hang time and distance," Mackovic said. "Not just a matter of hang time or a matter of distance."
After drills the team competed in more 7-on-7 pass "skellies". They ran a total of 17 plays with Jason Johnson, Cliff Watkins and John Rattay alternating snaps. The big play came when Watkins hit Marshall on a long bomb that went over 50-yards in the air.
Both Watkins and Johnson attempted to stretch the field. Both showed decent arm strength. Rattay didn't put up great numbers but had one pass dropped and threw another one away when no receivers got open.
Unofficial stats from the 7-on-7 drills:
Johnson 4-6 62
Watkins 5-5 80
Rattay 2-5 12
Costa 1-1 12
Receiving:Bobby Wade 1-12 Gary Love 3-40 Malosi Leonard 1-5 Tremaine Cox 1-5 Gainus Scott 2-12 Andrae Thurman 1-25 Brandon Marshall 1-50 James Hugo 1-5 Nick Fluery 1-12
After a long water break the entire team convened for a 23-play scrimmage. The offense showed a number of different looks, including quite a bit of shotgun formation. There was no tackling involved, but there was quite a bit of hitting.
Most of the plays were running plays. Speedy freshman Chris Harris was used on two toss plays and fared well getting around the corner. Fullback Mike Detwiler was used on a draw play and a misdirection.
Unofficial stats for the scrimmage (rushing yardage is an educated guess, with no tackling I calculated it when a defender got a good "tag" on a player)
PassingJohnson 1-2 50 int Watkins 1-2 6 Rattay 1-1 6
RushingFarmer 3-2 Harris 2-9 Detwiler 2-3 Mills 2-20 Scott 1-(-5) Fulcher 1-2 Singfield 1-3 Bell 1-10 (note: there was one long run of about 10 yards, but I couldn't see the runner's number)
ReceivingMarshall 2-56 Levassuer 1-6
The defense was fired up, doing a lot of whooping and hollering. Players continued to run after initial contact and the defense stripped three balls downfield. Michael Jolivette had an interception on Johnson's first pass attempt, causing the defense to go crazy.
Notes: Johnny Jackson, Darrell Brooks and Kevin Berry were held out of practice and worked with trainers. Berry will practice tonight, while Dusty Alexander will sit out…Joe Siofele and Brandon Nash returned to practice…Eli Wnek worked out on his own hitting tackle sleds with from his knees.